A case of mistaken identity . . . Rattlesnakes and Gopher Snakes
Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes and Sonoran Gopher Snakes are often mistaken for each other; when that happens, it always ends badly for the Gopher Snake. They are actually easy to tell apart if you know what to look for. Rattlesnakes can be dangerous, but Gopher Snakes are completely harmless and are important rodent predators. As always, if you are not sure of any snake identification, leave it alone.